Parsons’ Buckby brace keeps Town top of table

Robbie Parsons. EMN-180608-100420002

Robbie Parsons’ brace helped Melton stay top of the United Counties League Division One table with a hard-fought win at Long Buckby.

Buckby had taken only one win from their opening five games, but recovered from an early goal to give high-flying Melton a scare.

The match was barely 90 seconds old when the visitors went into a lead showing why they were top of the table.

Sam Thorpe’s low cross to Reeve was deflected by the defender and rebounded into the path of Parsons, whose low shot found the left corner of the net.

The first half an hour produced few chances but Melton’s defence was in control with their midfield getting frustrated with the amount of possession they had without really testing the Buckby defence.

Reeve was unlucky not to double the lead in the 31st minute when Manship sent a great corner in but his powerful header which struck the crossbar and rebounded to safety.

With 10 minutes of the half left Buckby had their first real attack. The ball was played into a crowded area by Ethan Flaig, the following scramble to clear the ball found Halim free but his shot from eight yards out found the safe hands of Peet.

Within four minutes the visitors had levelled when a defensive clearance went down the middle of the pitch where Lockley pounced onto the ball and played in to Halim who made no mistake by slotting it past the diving Peet.

With just minutes to go of the half Melton thought they had regained the lead when Rigby sent in a freekick which was brilliantly met by Thorpe was header hit the back of the net only for it to be disallowed for pushing a defender.

But the big travelling Melton support did not have to wait long to see their team regain the lead as on the stroke of half-time Town made their dominance eventually pay.

Rigby’s cross was picked up by Parsons, who drove at the defence, he was fouled but as he was going down he stuck a foot out to send the ball into the bottom corner of the net.

The first dead ball effort of the second half saw Manship send in a freekick to the Buckby box which was met by Hibbitt but his diving header went just inches wide of the post.

Melton looked comfortable but also looked nervous with just the one goal lead against a resilient home side and, on the hour mark, Buckby nearly levelled things up when Halim’s shot from the edge of the area was saved by Peet and cleared off the line.

Minutes later Buckby nearly had a bizarre equaliser when a free kick from their own area was allowed to bounce over the keeper and fortunately then bounced over the bar.

At the other end, Melton’s chances to put the game to bed came thick and fast.

Thorpe saw first time shot saved well by Bodycote before Reeve’s flicked header from a corner was cleared off the line.

With just two minutes remaining Melton got their reward when Buckby mis-controlled a defensive clearance.

Reeve outmuscled the defender and then turned Martin inside and out before slotting past the oncoming Bodycote.

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